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Concerns over microphones on linemen are overblown

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We interrupt this coverage of an interesting Sunday of football to predict that, moving forward, we’ll hear more and more about this issue of microphones being placed on offensive linemen.

It’s an issue that has bubbled to the surface in the wake of allegations by the Cowboys that the Redskins were simulating the snap count last Monday night.  Earlier today, Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported that Saints center Olin Kreutz ripped the microphone out of his pads on opening night, prompting quarterback Drew Brees to call the union for confirmation that, indeed, the new CBA permits this device for enhancing the TV broadcast of games.

As of Week Four, the NFL mandated the use of microphones for the starting center and reserve center or both starting guards in every game.

Coaches and General Managers are complaining to folks in the media, who as part of the doing of their jobs are relaying the information to their audiences.  But the complaints possibly are overblown.

As to the concern that the audio can be used to capture line calls and audibles and snap counts, the reality is that, for years, that sound was captured by the microphone applied to the hat of the umpire.  Indeed, the new procedure was necessitated by the fact that the umpire has moved from the area behind the defensive line to an area well behind the offensive line.  And the quality of the audio from the umpire’s hat was better, since the microphones now attached to the center or the guards are embedded in the pads.

The real problem seems to be paranoia.  Not over what previously was heard by the umpires, but over what could be captured by the microphone on the sidelines or in the locker room — and how it could be used if it falls into the wrong hands.  Apparently, no amount of assurances or explanations from the league, the networks, or NFL Films will cure this, and it’s likely that the coaches and G.M.’s will be pushing hard to scuttle this procedure completely.

Thus, look forward to more stories about this.  When reading each one, however, keep in mind that obsessive-compulsive coaches may be making too much of the situation.

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7 Responses to “Concerns over microphones on linemen are overblown”
  1. malignantsociety says: Oct 2, 2011 5:40 PM

    can’t they make the audio as secure as the audio used to call plays into the offensive/defensive helmets? it seems like this is less sensitive than the play calls.

  2. tigrrrr says: Oct 2, 2011 5:43 PM

    C’mon, game is over for almost 2 hours and no posts about the dream team .. We want to hear vick complain some more.

  3. numberoneinthehoodg says: Oct 2, 2011 11:24 PM

    Who’s going to lug the two turntables?

  4. Deb says: Oct 3, 2011 12:28 AM

    That bit about Kreutz is hysterical. I love it when NFL players go rogue. Will Goodell fine him?

  5. NoHomeTeam says: Oct 3, 2011 3:27 AM

    Do we need this kind of micing (is that a word?) on players? Is our viewing experience enhanced in the least? This just smacks of something that can be done because technology permits it, not because the fans actually want it.

    “When reading each one, however, keep in mind that obsessive-compulsive coaches may be making too much of the situation.”

    Keep in mind that it’s members of the media — and that’s you now, Mike — who think players and coaches are “making too much of the situation.”

  6. deep64blue says: Oct 12, 2011 11:38 AM

    Simple solution – move the Umpire back to where he’s meant to be ……

  7. minkytails says: Oct 12, 2011 3:29 PM

    Why can’t they just play?

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